Every year in January we launch our campaign Regenuary to bring into focus the impact our food choices have on the planet.
Regenuary takes its name from regenerative in January and its initial inception was admittedly a direct challenge to Veganuary.
Regenuary started like this.....
The First Regenuary
This first post was somewhat controversial receiving over a million impressions on Facebook alone and 17.5k comments in which the comments were almost evenly split in both support and condemnation with us even receiving death threats from vegan activists.
So why the controversy?
The first post was never intended to start a movement, it was simply written to challenge the over simplified narrative that all foods that could be labelled vegan were lower impact than any forms of animal agriculture, this very simple statement was contrary to the majority of the propaganda surrounding the vegan movement and it rattled people.
As the debate moved on through the month a few things became clear, people were genuinely confused and there is a huge amount of biassed information that can support any preconceived stance about how much impact various food systems cause.
Whilst this post did generate some hate it also generated far more debate and debate if utterly crucial as this issue is complex, nuanced and involves a huge number of variables, we believe anyone who claims they have all of the answers is either lying, ill, informed or under researched.
The evolution of Regenuary
By the third regenuary January 2022 we made some changes to the focus of the campaign, mostly to be more inclusive of the message of lowering the impact of everything we eat regardless of dietary preference.
We published an article on our website titled 'How to be a regenerative vegan' which looked at the complex relationships between our intertwined food systems that involve animals and plants, both together and in isolation and our humble conclusion was that all systems are intrinsically connected and to be regenerative we must consider plants and animals.
The other main change was the addition of our ambassadors we call Regenetarians. We invited prominent people of influence within the regenerative world who we thought would support our cause as well as humble practitioners such as farmers, cooks, chefs, gardeners and vintners to join in our message and add their own thoughts on what it is to be regenerative.
One by one we started to interview these influential regenetarians ranging from food writer Tom Parker Bowles to the founder of Holistic Management Allan Savory and started a podcast hosted on Apple, Spotify and other platforms
So what's new for 2023?
This year we will be focussing on two main aspects of the regenerative Agriculture movement, the first is how this applies to food service meaning any meals eaten outside of the home be it fine dining fast food or a simple coffee.
The second aspect we will look at is how to define and clarify regenerative agriculture and how to spot greenwashing as the movement grows.
To most people using our website we're known as an online consumer brand but in the last year the biggest growth we've seen in the business has come from hospitality as we now we have a sufficiently robust and plentiful supply chain to be able to offer regenerative meats to restaurants, pubs and cafes that share our values.
We will showcase these establishments and discuss with the chefs and owners their philosophy behind sourcing and what being regenerative means to them and the future of their business.
We will look at aspects of food service such as
How to select regenerative ingredients
How to work without packaging
How to get rid of your bins and reduce waste to zero
How to run a kitchen entirely on renewables and dramatically reduce energy consumption.
Over the course of the campaign we will look at how and where regenerative agriculture is measured and ask the important questions that need asking about the breadth of the life cycle assessments of these certifications. We're concerned that already the term is being hijacked by both brands and certification bodies alike and this has the potential to derail the incredible work being done by those who are true practitioners.
Last note, the jera rune. Two years ago we chose the symbol in white in the middle of the main image to represent the campaign, it's an ancient rune called 'Jera'.
Jera represents change, most frequently positive change. This change is a permanent reward after hardship or a series of hardships, and we feel this represents how the Earth has been treated by conventional agriculture.
Please support us for #regenuary 2023 and work with a model of continuous improvement for positive change.